Friday, March 30, 2012

Run From Fear - Jami Alden

Book Blurb:
More than anything, Talia Vega wanted to leave behind her harrowing past. Moving eight hundred miles away, she succeeded . . . until the one man who knows her darkest secrets wanders into the restaurant where she works. Now the agonizing memories come crashing back-along with an undeniable desire for Jack Brooks, the ex-Green Beret who rescued her from a sadistic monster two years ago.

Jack Brooks knows that showing up unannounced is a purely selfish move. Talia doesn't need his protection anymore, but he can't get the raven-haired beauty out of his mind. And when a twisted madman is hell-bent on resurrecting her torturous past, Jack vows to do anything to keep her safe-even risk his own life to save the only woman he's ever loved.

In My Own Words:
Wanting nothing more than to forget about her horrible ordeal, Talia moves from Seattle to Palo Alto California.  Talia taking a job at a new restaurant/bar and Rosie finally starting college at prestigious Stanford.  Things are perfect but she is no longer terrified of her own shadow, putting one foot in front of the other and taking her life back.  Jack, on assignment, shows up and rocks Talia's quaint little existence.  When a series of events starts "gifts" showing up for Talia, Jack knows his presence is warranted no matter how much Talia wants to deny it.

Jack realizes that he would give his life to keep Talia and Rosie safe, but as he comes to that realization, Talia is slapped in the face with the knowledge that she has been having Jack's "help" for the past 2 years unbeknownst to her and she refuses to see him.  This in itself sets Jack's teeth to grinding, but when she refuses to see him and Rosie seems to also be missing, Jack bursts in to action.  Hoping against hope that he isn't to late this time...

Notable Quote:
Talia rolled her eyes. "It was probably just some dumb kid looking to steal beer..."
"Immediately," Jack bit out. "And if I don't answer, you call Danny, Derek or Ethan directly."
"Or me!" Ben interjected.
"Not Ben," Jack said with a smile so slight she wondered if she was imagining it. "He's an asshole."

I was very cautious about reading Talia's book as it could have easily become very cheesy with her past and the fact that Jack rescued her once before.  I was not disappointed at all.  I love that Talia wanted nothing more than to make it on her own.  I think that it was expertly written how she was incredibly pissed that decisions were made for her and without her knowledge.  The connection between Talia and Jack was evident from the first sighting in the bar with his first visit, but the fact that she didn't give an inch made watching their union all that more fun.  The villain was uber creepy, I kind of wish there had been a little more back story on him, from him being this genius with a horrible mother turning in to a serial rapist didn't jibe all that well with me.  I hope this series continues, I have enjoyed the Gemini men.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hush - Cherry Adair

Book Blurb:
A reckless adventure in a deadly paradise.

Thrill seekers Zakary and Gideon Stark travel the globe in search of extreme adventure, but a trip to Venezuela to jump off the world’s highest falls catapults them into a perilous game of life or death—where they don’t know the rules.

A one-night stand that will change his life forever.

Kidnapped with a woman Zak knows nothing about, the brothers are held prisoner deep in the jungle. A risky, deathdefying escape separates them and nearly claims Zak’s life . . . until his recovery reveals a baffling new sixth sense.

An unexpected diversion with lethal consequences.

Now, to find his missing brother, Zak and the mysterious Acadia Gray will have to out-smart, out-gun, and out-maneuver not just the brutal kidnappers but also a new player who joins the adrenaline game: a ruthless opponent who wants the Stark brothers dead—at any cost.

In My Own Words:
Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When Acadia wakes up with a gun pointed at her and she is naked from her one and only one night stand at her with the said one night stand at her naked back, she isn't sure things could get worse.  When she is kidnapped with Zak and Gideon Stark, she is sure the reason is her recent lottery win, except she finds out that the brothers are multi-gizzilion aires and it is her job to basically just stay alive because the boys will not in any way let her help in their escape plan...until her plan is better with no blood shed.

When her pockets of tricks save their asses on many occasions, the boys begin to ease on their "no-women-help-save-the-day clause".  Zak is dealing with his own demons with the death of his wife, and a not so happy marriage and guilt over both.  The last thing he needs is a woman that is dependent on him to be her hero.  When Acadia starts to be the one saving the day and his life, Zak starts to see her in a different light.

During his hospital visit, Zak dies on the operating table, when his returns to the land of the living, he has a scrolling set of numbers in his vision and he can't figure them out.  This sixth sense is confusing and yet gives him the hope he needs to see him through his next mission...rescue his brother.

Notable Quote:
Infuriating man. "you weren't held as a baby, were you?"
"I have pictures."
Acadia made a rude noise. "Obviously photoshopped."

I loved this book.  There was so much involved, but it wasn't thrown at you in a rapid fire where you got lost.  I was connected to the characters from the first page.  I was on the edge of my seat at times, I felt sorrow for the loss' and I was joyful with the HEA.  I love when you "feel" what the author is trying to portray in a story.  I really loved the banter in the beginning of the book between Zak and Acadia, but more than that, I loved that she wasn't what you expected from a blonde that hadn't ever been camping.  Her saving the day...over and over, was priceless.  I can't wait to start the next book in this series, Afterglow out now.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Broken - Shiloh Walker

Book Blurb:
Quinn Rafferty is working as a bounty hunter for a private detective agency in St. Louis when a new neighbor catches his eye. He's drawn to her-but he has his own soul to mend before he can worry about anyone else.

Sarah McElyea is on the run, but not for the usual reasons a woman goes on the lam. She has a plan for her future. And as much as she finds herself attracted to her gruff, tough neighbor, she can't risk telling him the secrets she's hiding.

But Quinn must get closer to Sarah when she turns out to be the target of his new missing persons case, and both Quinn and Sarah will have to expose their true feelings-as well as their fragile hearts-if their love is to survive.

In My Own Words:
Quinn keeps to himself, rarely getting involved in business that isn't his or he isn't paid to do.  When a new neighbor pops in to his life, he feels an intrigue that pulls him to talk to her.  It is apparent, almost immediately that Sarah is hiding something, but Quinn isn't sure what or if he cares to know.  When a new missing persons case catches his boss' attention, Quinn has no choice but to find out what has him so jazzed.  When he realizes the woman in the missing persons report is Sarah, he heads home to get some answers.  What he doesn't expect is to see Sarah already cleared out and moving on.  When they start to explore their feelings, Quinn knows that he made a mistake jumping to conclusions, but when he tries to right his it to late?

I loved the first in this series, Fragile, and couldn't wait to read Broken.  I wasn't disappointed.  Quinn is a broken soul in need of repair and love.  What he finds is a woman in the same situation for a bunch of different reasons than his own.  The twists and turns in this story were great, and kept you guessing.  The relationship with Sarah and Quinn was sweet and explosive at times.  I found myself wanting to skip ahead, not because the writing wasn't good, but because I really wanted to know what was going to happen next.  

Rock Chick (Renegade) - Kristen Ashley

Book Blurb:
Jules has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance has made it his mission that Jules won’t get dead while dishing out vigilante justice. Jules doesn’t have time for romance, she’s too busy saving the world and she enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help.

The Rock Chicks of Fortnum’s Bookstore get involved to provide romantic advice and guidance, none of which Jules accepts at first. The Hot Bunch of Nightingale Investigations adopt Jules as one of their own. Even though Jules tries to hang on to her inner Head Crackin’ Mamma Jamma, the Rock Chicks; Hot Bunch; Jules’s long-suffering Uncle Nick; Jules’s friend the rotund, African-American, Jackie-O wannabe, May; and especially Vance will stop at nothing to wear her down.

But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry and one is dedicated to taking her out. Vance and the Hot Bunch have to pull out all the stops to keep her alive. At the same time, Jules and Vance learn the true meaning of home but once they find this precious entity they’ve been searching for all their lives, will Jules’s enemies tear it away?

In My Own Words:
Jules is a social worker by day and kick ass momma jamma by night.  Losing one of her kids to drugs, twisted something in her, knowing she had to do something, she decided to start messing with the dealers.  Nothing big, canola oil in their BMW, plastic wrap on their doors...just stuff to annoy them an let them know there are people out there not going to take their crap.  Jules (Law is her street name), got the attention of Lee and his boys during a shootout in front of Indy's bookstore.  Vance decides after his first meet with her, she will be his.  Something about her, turns that big hard man in to a big softie and he liked what he felt.  Jules has made some very bad enemies, and Vance has taken to keeping her safe, thus marking her as his own, THUS, bringing in the Rock Chicks, who come to offer moral support, sex tips and friendship.  Keeping her kids safe is her priority, but when they chips are down, Vance is the one she depends on, and that scares death.

Notable Quote:
"I see you didn't break up with Vance last night," Jet said, smiling at me.
"I did," I told her, "he just kinda ignored me."

I think this is my favorite of the series so far (I know I have said that before, but I mean it this time).  Jules is a kick ass, sassy and smart vigilante with a heart for her kids.  She isn't going to let anyone stop her from wrecking havoc on the drug dealers.  Vance is smart enough to know, he can't stop her, so he wants to get her trained by his boys, the best in the business.  I loved that, he didn't want to change her, he wanted to help her stay safe.  We had lots of great characters in this one too....May, works with Jules, and is fiercely protective of her.  Nick, he uncle and only living family member.  And of course the Rock Chicks and all the mayhem they bring along with them.  I was on the edge of my seat a few times, and holding my breath at others.  I felt sad, and laughed out loud too.  I love to connect with characters, and this book did JUST THAT!!

Rock Chicks (Rescue) - Kristen Ashley

Book Blurb:
Jet McAlister has a secret. Eddie Chavez has the hots for Jet (not to mention, Eddie's just, plain hot). Jet has too many problems to realize that Eddie's interested. Eddie loses patience when Jet ends her waitressing shift at a strip club with a knife at her throat. Since Eddie's a cop, he figures he can help. Since Jet's used to solving everyone's problems, she doesn't want Eddie's help.

Throw in a Dolly Parton look-alike, a gruff but lovable strip club owner, Jet's ne'er-do-well father, his ne'er-do-well friend, Bear, Bear's long-suffering, chain-smoking wife Lavonne and the crew from Rock Chick and you've got Rock Chick Rescue.

Rock Chick Rescue takes you on a wild ride with Jet, Eddie and the gang as they wrestle bad guys in a bagel shop, hit Denver's backstreet poker tables (with big hair), and help the strippers at Smithie's take down a would-be murderer.

Through this, Jet's got to learn that, even when life made you give up your dreams, you can still end up with the (hot) guy. Eddie's got to rescue Jet from a bad man (so he can do better things with her) and teach her that some dreams can come true.

In My Own Words:
Jet has a lot on her plate already.  A mother that is recovering from a stroke, and all of the troubles that go along with that.  What she doesn't need is more to deal with.  When her father blows in to town, trouble is exactly what she gets.  Eddie has been checking Jet out for several months now, only she is to busy dealing with her own issues to even notice.  When the heat is turned up on the danger, Eddie thinks he is the only one that can keep her safe.  Being claimed by Eddie, means she is also brought in to the Rock Chick group, and thus giving Jet something else to deal with...friends.

Notable Quote:
"Chiquita, if you tell me it's none of my business, I swear to God, I'll shoot you."

I find that I love this series more and more as it goes on.  Eddie and Jet's chemistry is electric, even if she tries to deny it for most of the story.  Watching her cave and accept him, plus accept the friendships that are offered to her was quite amusing.  Of course, as always, the secondary cast was also wonderfully entertaining.  I am in love with the friendships that are formed in the Rock Chick family, and also the bonds that Lee's boys have with each of the "pains in the ass".  Smithie was a new one for me, I wasn't sure how to take him, but he ended up on of my favorites of the book.  You have it all in this one, a little suspense, mean sharks after the little prey, hot macho guys, storybook friendships and a love story that was fun to read.  So many parts of this book I felt like I was in the room watching the action, great writing.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Waiting for You - Abigail Strom

Book Blurb:
For Jake Landry, Erin Shaw was always off-limits—too young, too innocent, and his kid sister’s best friend. Home now after a decade of military service, Jake finds Erin all grown up…but she’s still off-limits. War has left him with scars invisible to anyone but him, and a relationship is the last thing he’s looking for.

As a teenager, Erin had a hopeless crush on her friend’s big brother. Now that she’s an adult, she thinks she’s put all that behind her. But when she sees Jake again, she discovers her old feelings are alive and well...and blossoming into something new.

Jake doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after. And since he can’t give Erin what she deserves, he tries to stay away from her. But when the attraction between them turns explosive, his resistance starts to crumble. Will Erin find a way past Jake’s armor all the way to his heart?

In My Own Words:
When Jake comes back to his home town to start a life after his military service, the last thing he is looking for is a relationship complication with Erin Shaw.  She was his sister's best friend and he would always see her that way.  When he starts making up excuses to see her, and he goes out of his way to worm his way in to HER life.  When the sparks start to fly, Jake starts to get cold feet, still feeling like the loss of his best friend in the war could have been prevented by him, so he takes off on a motorcycle trip.  Months later, he returns to a whole new set of complications.

Waiting for you was a cute story of a past love come to fruition, relationship complications, and long lasting friendships.  You could feel the pain that Jake was going through thinking of his war buddy Dan and his family, you could also feel the love that Erin was trying to give him to help him heal.  I liked this story, but I found some of the thought sequences a bit wordy and over done.

Rock Chick - Kristen Ashley

Book Blurb:
Indy’s a former wild child (okay, maybe not so “former”) and now used bookstore owner. Lee’s a former bad boy and now runs a private investigation service. Toss together a quiet barista with a not-so-lawful side-business, a crazy Vietnam Vet, a pothead, a drag queen, family and friends who will NOT mind their own business, a few stun guns and a bag of diamonds and mix it up with some shootings, a high speed chase and car bombs exploding and you’re on the first Rock Chick wild ride.

In My Own Words:
Indy is living her life by Indy's standards.  Sometimes that includes rock concerts, sometimes it includes disobeying direct orders, and sometimes it includes missing diamonds and people shooting at her.  When the heat was turned up and a gun pulled on her, her best friend set her up to sleep at her brother's house while he was out of town.  Unfortunately, he didn't get the memo that he was supposed to be out of town.  When he comes home to find goldilocks in his bed, and a stranger on his couch, some explaining needs to happen....and fast.

Lee was the love of Indy's life and since she was 5 she had done everything possible to catch his attention.  But 10 years ago, Lee said the words that cut through her core and had her avoiding him at all costs. "I think of you like a sister." Now 10 years later, she is in need of his certain expertise but isn't willing to admit it to herself let alone him.

Notable Quote:
..."Your grandmother used to say that you were two souls separated in heaven.  She mainly meant you were both trouble and deserved each other."

This book had everything.  There was mystery as to who actually has the diamonds.  There was a love lost story, she had loved him for so many years, and he just pushed her away.  You had drag queens and rock and roll.  There was cars exploding and people getting shot, blown up and handcuffed.  And finally a creepy stalker mob guy that won't catch a clue.  I loved this story.  There was action and adventure and a great love story all wrapped up in one little pink package.

Fragile - Shiloh Walker

Book Blurb:
Six years after trading in his combat gear for hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty is faced with things just as heartbreaking as those on the battlefield. The abused children being brought in by the pretty redheaded social worker tug at his soul like nothing he's ever known.

For Devon Manning, being a social worker is a rewarding job, but also a constant reminder of her own troubled youth. Devon takes everything one day at a time-unable to form a relationship with anyone except the children she rescues.

When Luke meets Devon, he thinks he might have found what he's been looking for, but in order to get the life he wants, Luke has to break through Devon's emotional barriers and make her realize that his healing touch might be just the complication her life needs...

In My Own Words:
After and injury that would put Luke on desk duty, he decides to take a graceful exit from the elite Army Rangers.  While working as an emergency medical doctor, he comes across Devon Manning.  A shy social worker that seems to live within herself except when it comes to the welfare of a child, then shy is gone replaced with a woman who will take no prisoners to protect.

Devon believes she isn't worth a shot at a wonderful, sexy and talented doctor. After a chance meeting and a shared dinner, it is clear to Luke there is something between them, all he has to do now is convince Devon he is worth the chance.  What Devon has to decide is if she can lay her past to rest and give love a shot.

When strange things start to happen, and Devon starts to let her guard down and trust Luke.  When things go from bad to worse, Devon and Luke have to struggle to keep it together, professionally and personally.

Notable Quote:
"....I wonder if I'll have the strength to keep doing this - and then, I go home.  I see Alan at the stove making lousy spaghetti while our kids are at the table doing their homework.  I see them, and I realize that I do have the strength.  They give it to me." (meeting with Devon and her therapist)

This is my first Shiloh Walker book, and there is no way it will be my last.  I have already bought Broken (Quinn's story).  These two really broke my heart.  Between Devon's past and Luke's issues, I wondered if there was enough therapy for these two to find their own HEA.  The love scenes were eloquently written, and watching them fall in love was like you were in the room with them.  The secondary characters were great as well, which is one of the reasons I am looking forward to Broken, Quinn was written so well that I was intrigued from the first meeting of him.  The mystery was almost to easy to figure out until a few more twists were added was awesome.